History, geography and way of life

Settlement and population in Norway

  • Norway has a population of just over five million.
  • Almost 75 percent of inhabitants live along the coast.
  • Around half of the population lives in Eastern Norway.
  • Around 17% of the population come from immigrant backgrounds (immigrants and Norwegian-born children with immigrant parents). Oslo and Drammen are the cities in Norway with the highest percentage of inhabitants with an immigrant background.
  • More information about the population in Norway is available at: www.ssb.no



The Sami people

Norway has an indigenous people, the Sami, and the Sami are the population group that has lived longest in Norway. There are between 40,000 and 50,000 Sami in Norway. There are also around 50,000 Sami living in Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The Sami people have their own language – Sami. There are several different Sami languages.

A Sami Parliament was established in 1989. The Sami Parliament discusses matters of particular concern to the Sami population. The Sami Parliament was established to secure the Sami population’s political representation and participation. The authority of the Sami Parliament is set out in the Sami Act. However, the Sami people are also subject to Norwegian law in the same way as everyone else in Norway.